5 Distinctions Between “Spiritual Consumers” & “Spiritual Contributors”
I have a few friends that cause me to wince whenever I see an incoming phone call or text message from them. We aren’t especially close or deep in our relationship – we’re friendly and cordial, but saying we’re “friends” may even be a stretch. Those friends are not contributors, they are consumers.
The problem with this handful of friends is that they only call me when they need something. More than likely, if this person is calling, they’re only calling because I have something that they need or can do something that they need help with. I’m sure you have people in your life like that – you quickly realize the context of a relationship and soon identify that these few people will always be the “takers” in the relationship.
This mentality in people really frustrated me and made me want to really whittle down my friend list and start blocking a few numbers… until the revelation hit me that I do the same thing to God and His Body.
There is a mentality that has leaked out of secular culture and crept in to our churches – the mindset that screams “you are here to entertain and please me”. I’m worried it’s created a generation of spiritual consumers! We now seem to be overrun with the type of Christians that approach God and the local church only when they need something and disregard any finances, talent, time, or creativity that they can offer.
Here are a few ways to tell if you’re part of the spiritual consumers or contributors:
- Consumers come to church late and leave right when it ends.Contributors show up early to offer a helping hand and greet newcomers.
- Consumers show up to church only to be “fed”, then complain that their pastor or messages aren’t “meat” or “deep enough”.Contributors “feed themselves” in their private study time, and show up to church to serve and expand the big-picture Kingdom.
- Consumers expect the church to rush to their rescue when financial crisis or sickness occurs, but do nothing to contribute to the immediate needs of others.Contributors are the first ones to the hospital, first ones baking a casserole for a sick member, and the first ones to open their wallets when they see a family hurting financially.
- Consumers rush to speak to the pastor at every available opportunity – they desperately need one-on-one time with the “Man of God”.Contributors seek to pastor and lead their own families and inner circles – they rely on God more than man to lead them & they seek accountability when necessary from church leadership.
- Consumers hop from church to church, seeking the perfect worship, preaching, and community – yet never seem to find it.Contributors plugin to the congregation God has called them to be a part, and they plant roots deep. They treat the Body like spiritual family and don’t abandon ship easily.
I thank God for everyone who steps foot in a church building, whether they are consumers or contributors. However, if you’re reading this, I know you’re called to be more than just a consumer, but a spiritual contributor for the sake of advancing the Gospel of Jesus.
May we all have the attitude and spirit of a contributor, and like the apostles in the book of Acts, seek to establish the Kingdom on earth rather than prioritizing our own comfort.